First post – the journey part 1


This is my first blog post ever and I will be posting it as an international student ambassador. Although I am a bit nervous, I feel proud to finally try something new. Before I proceed, let me introduce myself. My name is Silas Mwangi and I am a second year Master student in General Management. I am Kenyan and have been living in Finland since 2010.

Every time I meet someone new I keep getting the same question. “What are you doing in Finland?” Whenever I answer to study then I always get the follow – up “why Finland”? I always try to give a simple answer because Finland has the best education in the world. Frankly when I ponder on why I moved to Finland back in 2010 it was a combination of many factors.

I finished high school in 2004 and did not have a clue what I was passionate about. My dad was a manager in a telecommunication company and I thought his job was exciting. However, I did not want to commit fully before having a ‘taste’ of the job. I studied telecommunication at a diploma level and joined the job market. I worked as a technician for 2 years. The job was demanding and the pay low so in 2007, I decided to study more to get a promotion. During that time there were many stories about how the university education was poor quality. I tried to search universities abroad, but the tuition fees were too expensive. Then one day I stumbled upon free university in Finland.

At first, I thought it was a hoax since my parents have instilled the quote “when the deal is too good, think twice”. In the back of my mind I knew Finland was the home of Nokia which was a telco giant. I decided to take the gamble and applied. There were many challenges all through the application process including the visa application. Despite all the setbacks I got a position in VAMK to study a bachelor in IT and I thought my dream to work for Nokia would be achieved.

However, when it came to specialization in the third year they dropped the telecommunication option. I had the choice of transferring to either Helsinki or Jyvaskyla to purse the dream. By that time, I had grown to love Vaasa so much that I decided to change my profession. I joined Novia and in 2016 I graduated with a bachelor’s in environmental engineering. I felt the need to study further and get a masters qualification since it would open more opportunities for me for example starting a consultancy firm. I scouted for the best suited masters for me for one year. I settled on Vaasa university and Hanken as my options. I applied to both and lucky I got accepted in both universities.

I chose Hanken instead of Vaasa University after carefully weighing both options. I already had developed technical skills, but I did not have the business skills necessary to hold a managerial position or even start my own firm. Looking back, I can say it has been a really interesting journey and if I could go back I think I would still choose the same. Join me next time as I give you a glimpse into my life in Hanken and how I ended up here in this blog post. Goodbye!